If you are a Canadian who enjoys playing online poker, there is officially one fewer option now available. Ladbrokes, a member of the iPoker network, announced last month that it would be leaving Canada and that all player funds would need to be withdrawn before the end of October, or they would be forfeited.
Somewhat surprisingly, this decision had essentially nothing to do with the Canadian government, which has actually been fairly lenient towards online gaming in general for the past several years. Instead, Ladbrokes is vying for regulation in the UK, where the company is based.
Increasingly, regulators in the UK are taking a harder look at online gaming operators that want to be officially licensed in the UK. While Canada certainly does not have a ban on online gaming, companies like Ladbrokes operate in what is legally considered a grey area. Since regulators in the UK have said that a “convincing legal basis” is necessary for operations in any given country, Ladbrokes ultimately decided that it was not worth the risk to its prospects for a UK license.
Ladbrokes Closes in CA – What to do as a Canadian online poker player
Ladbrokes has long been one of the more popular gaming sites in Canada. In addition to fast payouts and a wide range of games, it was known for excellent bonuses and customer service. However, If you have funds on Ladbrokes, it is imperative that you withdraw those funds as quickly as possible, as the window to withdraw is fast approaching.
Fortunately, the Canadian government is significantly more understanding than its neighbors to the south; the United States online poker market is in dire straits in comparison. This means there are still quite a few worthwhile options for Canadian poker players.
PokerStars, which has long been the global industry leader, and many other smaller poker sites continue to offer online gaming in Canada, something that is not expected to change anytime soon. While the loss of Ladbrokes is unfortunate, Canadians still benefit from understanding laws surrounding online gaming.